Simulated fate of catchment-derived sediment on the Great Barrier Reef shelf

Mergvelashvili, N., Andrewartha, J., Baird, M., Herzfeld, M., Jones, E., Mongin, M., Rizwi, F., Robson, B.J., Skerratt, J., Wild-Allen, K., and Steven, Andrew (2018) Simulated fate of catchment-derived sediment on the Great Barrier Reef shelf. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 135. pp. 954-962.

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Abstract

Numerical experiments using a 3D model of fine sediment transport in the Great Barrier Reef region indicate deposition of the bulk mass of catchment sediments from river plumes within a few tens of kilometres from river mouths. A very fine fraction of easily resuspended catchment sediment has a capacity to propagate over much greater distances reaching out into the mid-shelf and outer-shelf regions. The model suggests such particles, instrumental to the development of low density flocs in the marine environment, can play a critical role in altering optical properties of water masses over the shelf during wet years. The mid-term (4 year) impact of Great Barrier Reef catchments on the probability of suspended sediment concentration exceeding the ecologically significant trigger value of 2 mg/L is confined to inshore regions adjacent to river mouth locations.

Item ID: 55075
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
Keywords: Great Barrier Reef; sediment transport; numerical model; Catchments
Copyright Information: Crown Copyright © 2018 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Additional Information:

Highlights • A bulk mass of catchment sediments in the GBR region deposits within a few tens of kilometres from river mouths. • A very fine fraction of catchment sediment has a capacity to alter optical properties of water masses over the shelf. • The impact of GBR catchments on the probability of suspended sediment exceeding 2 mg/L is confined to inshore regions.

Funders: Caring for our Country Reef Rescue Research and Development Program, Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF), CSIRO's Wealth from Oceans Flagship, Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)
Projects and Grants: eReefs
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2018 03:03
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0405 Oceanography > 040503 Physical Oceanography @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9611 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water > 961104 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water in Marine Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9611 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water > 961102 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water in Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 50%
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